Decisions, decisions, decisions !!!!! Do i take the Performance Route or do i take the Teaching Route ?? These are the 2 most frequentely asked questions that a dancer will think about when they reach the age of 18. Both have their own challenges, but ultimately both can give life changing experiences that will provide a great sense of personal achievement.
The Performing Route calls for a dancer with a certain type of personality, who is committed,self motivated and can apply themselves totally to the Art. All genres require a high level of personal focus when it comes down to physical fitness, discipline and practice. This opens the door for criticism,rejection and a never ending drive to do better. A great skill to have as a performing dancer is to be able to turn any negative experience into a positive one by digging deep, believing in themselves and delivering a knockout performance.
The Teaching Route calls for exactly the same commitment and motivation but has the extra requirement of a dancer to be patient, adaptable, to be able to communicate and deliver classes to students of all ages. They must be prepared to take teaching courses to take themselves to the next level and keep up to date with Syllabus work and with whats happening within the dance industry.Fortunately in this day and age there are more convenient ways of achieving this by accessing the internet for information.
I have been able to take advantage of this by producing my own Unlimited Dance Company Online IDTA L4 Ballet Teacher Training Course, which has enabled me to share my 28 years of experience with the dancers who want to further their career in this genre. When giving advise to any dancer who wants to make a career in the dance industry, I always explain that the Teacher Training Courses are not just confined to the people wanting to teach. They are accessible to all dancers who have the required qualifications and are a good investment, mainly because a performer’s career can be cut short due to injury or circumstance. I believe it is worth making the effort to take these exams along side their other work in preparation for when they have natural breaks or when their performing career comes to an end. This enables their passion and experience to be shared and kept alive for many years to come.
Looking back over the years I have come to realise that we are not just Dance Teachers to the many people who we cross paths with. We can be that safe person who the student will come to confide in and to some, we are also a friend to laugh and cry with. We meet so many different characters with different abilities, even in one class it can be quite a challenge to juggle our teaching skills to get the best out of everyone. And it just doesnt stop there, as we also have the admin side of a dance company to organise, not to mention the cleaning of the studios and the cup of tea run. In our Company we have the added extra of organising shows, summer school, trips and exam days.
So all in all I have come to appreciate that being a teacher is like no other ordinary job. You have to be all in to make it work for yourself and be fully committed to your desire to share your passion for dance.
Finally, the beauty of a dance career is that you are not limited by only one route . You have the option of doing many of the different avenues that are connected with this industry. The more you put in, the more you get back. This profession is very much a mutual career in the fact that everyone gains whether it be the performer, teacher or student. You will all inspire each other and ignite the passion of dance within . I can honestly say that whatever you decide to do, you will surely be guaranteed that it will be the most privilged, the most rewarding life experiences that you will ever have.